Peanuts

History of Peanuts




The organic peanuts we produced in Biofactor belong to the genus Arachis, order of the Leguminosae certified by Bios S.r.l. Peanuts are also known as "American peanuts" which grow in warm climates. The product is native from South America and have been cultivated since ancient times by the native populations of the American continent. It is an herbaceous plant with an erect stem that can reach a height between 30 and 80 centimeters.
The modern peanut derives from the hybridization of two previous types of Andean peanuts. The 20 pairs of chromosomes present in modern peanuts result from the sum of those old species.
Scientists have always thought (currently a confirmed fact) that the "ancestors" of this type of peanut were variants of "Arachis duranensis", a very common species located at the foot of the Andes in the region that lies between the north-west of Argentina and the south-east of Bolivia, and "Arachis ipaensis", a species that had been reported, but not confirmed as extinct, located in the north of Bolivia. One of the earliest artifacts that show the appreciation of man for this fruit is a pre-Columbian vase found in Peru, in this vase we can recognize some peanuts of south American origin. Subsequently, the Portuguese brought these peanuts to Africa, where they were immediately considered as an important food resource and where they grow in a very dry land.
In 1530 peanuts were exported to India and Macao by the Portuguese, and to the Philippines by the Spaniards. Later, the peanuts were brought by merchants to China, where they were immediately considered a useful crop for the fight against hunger. The production in our country began in 1870, in the province of Alessandria, reaching its peak in the early 60s, and then having a slow decline. Currently, production is rather poor and the regions producing peanuts are, in practice, only two: Veneto and Campania. In 1903, the American agricultural chemist George Washington Carver started to search new uses for peanuts, obtaining more than 300 products, including beverages, cosmetics, dyes, drugs, laundry soap, insecticide and printing ink.
The peanut produces the homonymous fruit with a yellowish color that contains two or three oval seeds covered with a reddish film. Peanuts are composed of: 40 to 50% of oil and about 20 to 30% of proteins. The nutritive value of peanuts is impressive, they contain many fibers, 13 vitamins and 26 minerals, many of which are not present in today's food.